January 3, 2014

Career-High Efforts From Anderson and Belanger Lifts Women’s Basketball Over Brown, 77-74 in Overtime Thriller

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Freshman guard Kristen Anderson (Greene, Maine) notched a career-high 30 points and eight rebounds as the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team edged out the Brown University Bears 77-74 at the Pizzitola Sports Center Friday night.

The Wildcats snap a three-game skid and improve to 5-7 in the non-conference matchup. Brown falls to 5-7 in the decision. 

New Hampshire wins its first overtime game since Feb. 25, 2012 when the Wildcats defeated Binghamton at home, 59-52.

Anderson is the first Wildcat to score 30 points in a game since Cari Reed scored 32 against Harvard on Dec. 6, 2011. The freshman went 10 of 16 from the field and 6 of 9 from beyond the arc. 

Sophomore guard Elizabeth Belanger (Acton, Mass.) also registered a career-high in points with 20 while snagging a team-high nine boards in the win.

The Wildcats shot 28 of 58 (.483 field goal percentage) while the Bears were 23 of 50 (.460) from the field. New Hampshire owned a plus-seven advantage on the boards, 37-30. Brown forced 15 turnovers while conceding 12 in the match.


New Hampshire opened the scoring on a pair of layups from Kaylee Kilpatrick (Saint John, New Brunswick) to lead 4-0. Brown immediately responded with back-to-back treys from Lauren Clarke and Sophie Bikofsky, taking a 6-4 advantage.

The Bears continued shooting from afar to hit its first four 3-pointers. Sophie Beutel and Jordin Alexander would add onto the score to give Brown a 13-8 edge.

Belanger would erase the five-point lead on a 3-pointer and two free throws with 14:52 left in the first half.

Brown retaliated back with a 9-0 run over a span of 4 minutes, 25 seconds to lead 21-13 with 11:03 remaining in the first.

The 'Cats would storm back as Sarah-Marie Frankenberger (Gross Gerau, Germany) strung together five consecutive points to slash Brown's lead down to three. Despite a second trey from Clarke, UNH would pull within three points again on contributions from Belanger and Corinne Coia (North Smithfield, R.I.).

The Bears would extend its lead to five at 30-25 with 5:44 remaining in the half. However, New Hampshire would even the score in the final moments of the frame. The tandem of Belanger and Anderson would keep up with Brown's offense as the teams entered halftime leveled at 38.

Senior guard Kelsey Hogan (Nashua, N.H.) opened the second half for the Wildcats on a 5-0 run to lead 43-38. The Bears would battle back, chipping away at the 'Cats lead until it was tied up at 52 apiece.

Clarke gave Brown a three-point lead momentarily on a 3-pointer. However, Anderson responded immediately with a trey of her own. Anderson ensued with five of New Hampshire's next seven points to give the Wildcats a 62-57 lead with 7:08 left in the second half. 

The Bears would not fade away as they stormed back in the waning moments of the second half. Brown would compile a 9-2 run over a span of six minutes to even the match at 66. New Hampshire had a chance to take the lead with the shot clock off as Kilpatrick hooked a shot in the paint. Despite her effort, the bid rimmed out as Brown corralled the rebound and called a timeout. Clarke would receive the inbound pass and launched a 3-pointer just beyond the half court line. The buzzer-beater trey banked off the backboard and into the basket. Having said that, the shot was eventually waived off after an official review, sending the game into overtime.

Anderson continued to shoot consistently into overtime. Entering the extra frame with 21 points, the freshman tacked on nine more points. 

Clarke and Anderson would exchange treys in the opening minute of overtime. Anderson would tack on a jumper to lead 71-69 with 4:01 left in the game. Clarke powered the Bears to a 74-71 lead on a trio of free throws followed by a layup.

Belanger would cut the Bears' lead down to one on a drive to the basket with 49 remaining on the clock. The Wildcats forced a stop, which resulted into a layup by Anderson and a timeout from UNH. Brown would inbound the ball trailing 75-74 to the senior co-captain Clarke with 10 seconds left. However, the guard could not convert the layup as Anderson snagged the loose ball. Anderson would drain the two free throws with one second left. New Hampshire would come up with the final stop to come away with the overtime victory.  

The Wildcats return to Lundholm Gymnasium on Tuesday, Jan. 7 (7 p.m.) as UNH welcomes Yale University to conclude non-conference play. For tickets, visit UNHWildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.

 

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